Saturday, May 5, 2007

Rachel and Grandma and an Arabian Horse

The Daffodil Arabian Spring Horse Show - Saturday

Part 1 of Rachel and Grandma and an Arabian Horse

For Saturday we didn't have classes until the afternoon session so we actually got to sleep in a little bit. We arrived at the Western Washington Fairgrounds at about 8 am and fed the horses. We had enough time to give them a while to finish their breakfast before we cleaned the stalls. After that Rachel washed Dandy's white socks and braided the horse without being in a rush. The amount her braiding had improved in just one day was amazing. Won't be long and she'll be hiring out to do other people's brainding. Just another indicator of how dedicated she really is.

I was going to ride the Arabian gelding in the PB Hunter Pleasure AAOTR 40 & over class so that I could school him in an actual class setting before Rachel's class.The horse has been showing long enough he knows the difference between practice and the real thing. Me schooling him in a class would assure that he was right on for Rachel.

Rachel's class was about 6 classes after mine so that would give us plenty of time to get him back to his stall to give him a chance to pee and then get Rachel on and warmed up in time to show. Well, that was the plan any way.

The first bump in the road came as I was dressing for my class. I knew I'd put on a little (20 pounds not really so little) weight over the winter. The weather had been so lousy I didn't get to work horses often but my food intake stayed the same. I swelled up just like my kitty cats do each winter. I hadn't really thought about the weight change in regards to my show clothes because I had weighed this much when I'd bought the clothes in the first place.

I had purchased new breeches because the old ones were shot so I was ok there and my jacket was fine. Turns out my hunt shirt was shrunken and should have been replaced as well, since my cuffs were midway up my arm. But the jacket covered that sin, so I thought I was good. That is until I went to put my boots on.

It hadn't occurred to me that when I had ordered these custom made (because I'm so tall and long legged) boots 12 years ago that I was not really riding all that much. I rode one horse maybe an hour a day and I was really still just on the beginning of my journey as a rider.

That translates to my legs were not strong, certainly no where near the strength I have in them today. More strength means more muscle, more muscle means more mass. While I have shown in these boots since I'd become a stronger rider, I was skinnier at the time. With the added bulk from muscle and the now added weight there was no way I was going to get those hunt boots on. I tried, but it was futile, not to mention what it took to get them off from their half on half off position.

I was pretty upset thinking I was failing a grandmother test. Here I am supposed to be taking care of this kid and teaching her the ropes on how to do this whole show thing and I'm the one that screwed up something vital to getting the mission accomplished. I've never felt close to tears before now at a horse show but the thought of letting Rachel down had me on the brink.

Luckily, Rachel saved the day. It turned out her new boots were the same shoe size as mine but with a wider calf. Since they were new and not broken in yet, they didn't look too short for me ( they will be when they get soft, so I'm going to have to get my b_ _ _ in gear and loose some weight before that happens so I can wear my own boots.) The boots were stiff and uncomfortable but not as uncomfortable as the thought of letting Rachel down. We would just have to allow time for a boot swap between the classes.

Finally dressed in my oddly fitting hunt attire, I climbed aboard my Arabian horse for my first hunter pleasure class on him in years. We headed to the warm-up pen behind the show arena and I proceeded to warm the horse up slowly.

Concentrating on the stiffness in his right shoulder, I spent a lot of time flexing and bending the horse at the walk until I was satisfied the shoulder was losened up. Then I moved on to the trot, Dandy was soft and round. If the horse continued on this way at the canter it would be a great ride. I was getting excited about the idea of actually getting to show him in a class.

The canter turned out to be just as good if not better than it had ever been. Even his hard way the horse was soft and smooth. I worked some on transitions up and down from the canter to the trot and the hand gallop to the canter, trot or walk polishing them off. Then I decided it was time to head towards Colleen and Rachel to do a final once over on the horse before we proceeded to the show ring.

As I got closer to them, Dandy was on the third beat of the canter to the right (which means all of his weight was coming down on the right front leg) when disaster struck.

To be continued.....

The Fall


  1. ARGHHH!!! You had to end with that??? These posts are driving me crazy! Haha... Actually, I love the story and am compulsively checking your blog to see if you have added to it.

    I totally understand about the hunt boots. I took four years off from riding while I was in college and the freshman 15 (more like 45!) made it impossible for me to put my boots on when I decided to start riding again. At least you can blame it on muscle gain. Mine was all from cookies and soda!

    So now I'm worried that someone got hurt (either horse or person) at the show! I guess I will have to check your blog obsessively until I find out what happened :)

  2. Uh oh... This does not sound good :-( Hoping everything turns out OK.

  3. Sheesh MiKael you are at it again!! LOL. Another cliff hanger.
    Just like watching Dallas!!

    Doesnt sound good. Will worry until tomorrow's installment.

    Have a great Sunday.


  4. Well, that's one way to keep us all tuned in. Now I'm dying to find out what happened.

  5. MiKael, you always leave us haning!! I am hoping "disater" does not mean "hurt."
    I will check back to see how this one turns out.

  6. Argh! What happened?!!! Talk about a cliff-hanger. Hope the disaster wasn't life threatening... *lip wobble*

    As for the calf thing - I've only been riding since September, and only get to ride for an hour a week (can't afford any more lessons than that - they cost £30 for 45 mins here!). I bought some leather gaiters and they're incredibly tight already 'cos my calves have grown muscles!

    Anyway - waiting with baited breath to see what happened next! X

  7. Oh dear!! Please tell us what happened! I'm glad you solved the boot dilemma ok.